Who needs expensive Freudian psychiatrists when you can have thisThe discovery of some toy duck in the soap dish, presumably the property of some former juvenile visitor, contributed not a little to this new and happier frame of mind What with one thing and another, I hadn t played with toy ducks in my bath for years, and I found the novel experience most invigorating For the benefit of those interested, I may mention that if you shove the thing under the surface with the sponge and then let it go, it shoots out of the water in a manner calculated to divert the most careworn Ten minutes of this and I was enabled to return to the bedchamber much the merry old Bertram Old Bertram is in dire need of moral bracing, since one of his recurring spats over wardrobe with his trusted man Jeeves has left him without valuable advice just when he needed it most Valiant efforts to solve the problems of his friends and family gathered at Brinkley Court on his own are only serving to further push him deeper into the soup Bertie blames it on bad luck and on the FrenchIf I hadn t gone to Cannes, I shouldn t have met the Bassett or bought that white mess jacket, and Angela wouldn t have met her shark, and Aunt Dahlia wouldn t have played baccarat If you want to find the connection between sharks, white mess jackets, baccarat, devil s costumes, newts and French cooking you have come to the right place at Brinkley Court Be careful though of Bertie s clever plans, and keep Gussie Fink Nottle away from the strong spirits As his Aunt Dahlia rather cruelly but truthfully puts itYou may well say Golly Anatole, God s gift to the gastric juices, gone like the dew off the petal of a rose, all through your idiocyAfter reading four or five Jeeves short stories collections in a row I was just in the right disposition for a substantial fare, and the master didn t disappoint Right Ho, Jeeves is one of Wodehouse s best novels, showcasing his talent to weave together several storylines and to ramp up the mischief and hijinks to stratospheric levels, where even the imperturbable gentleman s gentleman Jeeves would be hard put to come up with a solution Some of the faces are familiar, as are some of the romantic missteps that crop up in almost every Wodehouse story, but there is something about how the different characters come together and interact that make me appreciate the long form better than the above mentioned short stories This splittig of the troubles into four or five separate incidents makes it a little harder to pick a main plot line in the novel, but, judging by screen time and by the laughter meter, I would pick August Fink Nottle as the leader of the pack This old school friend of Bertie, this newt nuzzling blister as he is or less affectionately referred to, has fallen in love And because he is pathologically shy and accident prone, he appeals to Jeeves as a go between As you might remember, Jeeves and Bertie had a tiff over a dinner jacket, so Bertie takes, reluctantly, the role of CupidA splendid chap, of course, in many ways courteous, amiable, and just the fellow to tell you what to do till the doctor came, if you had a sick newt on your hands but quite obviously not of Mendelssohn s March timber I have no doubt that you could have flung bricks by the hour in England s most densely populated districts without endangering the safety of a single girl capable of becoming Mrs Augustus Fink Nottle without an anaesthetic Yet such a girl resides presently at Brinkley Court Madeline Bassett, another gold plated comedy arrow in the author s quiver A sensitive, poetic soul, whose exclamations about daisy chains and fluffy rabbits in the meadows are apt to give even the strongest man the shiversthe thought of being engaged to a girl who talked openly about fairies being born because stars blew their noses, or whatever it was, frankly appalled meconfesses Bertie, yet that s exactly where his efforts on behalf of Gussie lands him It s enough to turn our bachelor friend to despairI ve said it before, and I ll say it again girls are rummy Old Pop Kipling never said a truer word than when he made that crack about the f of the s being d than the m Gussie and the Bassett are not the only couple trying to mend up the ties of love Bertie s cousin Angela is on the warpath with her fiancee, another Wodehouse recurring character and frenemy of Bertie, Tuppy Glossop Add to the double dose of romance the volatile temper of the Brinkley Court s celebrated cook Anatole and the sour disposition of the lord of the manor, and you have the main ingredients of the soup Bertie is currently wallowing inWell, I m dashed I m really dashed I positively am dashed, Jeevesfinally confesses the master after all his best efforts misfire, and he goes back, as the reader already knew he would, to his trusted servant for rescue But can even Jeeves transform a newt like Gussie into a dragonOnly active measures, promptly applied, can provide this poor, pusillanimous poop with the proper pep Don t you just love this alliterative game But what can he be talking about I am still cracking with laughter as I remember the effect of alcohol on the timid man s dispositionIt just shows, what any member of Parliament will tell you, that if you want real oratory, the preliminary noggin is essential Unless pie eyed, you cannot hope to gripI should try the recipe when writing my reviews Maybe they will be as popular as Gussie s speechmaking under the influence On a personal level, I am most grateful to P G Wodehouse for making me fall in love with the English language all over again I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy his prose in the original club vernacular, even as I dive to the dictionary for sedulously diligent in application or attention persevering assiduous or hornswoggle to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax Even his insults have style, inventivity, and his short portraits are unrivaled in the field of comedy Uncle Tomwho always looked a bit like a pterodactyl with a secret sorrowTuppyIf you can visualize a bulldog which has just been kicked in the ribs and had its dinner sneaked by the cat, you will have Hildebrand Glossop as he now stood before meAunt DahliaShe looked like a tomato struggling for self expression.
alsothe nearest thing to a charging rhinoceros.
Recurrent jokes that are continued from one story to another are another secret ingredient mixed by Wodehouse into his recipe for success I have already mentioned the wardrobe malfunctions Another example is the reference to the habit of Jeeves to move about silentlyMy private belief, as I think I have mentioned before, is that Jeeves doesn t have to open doors He s like one of those birds in India who bung their astral bodies about the chaps, I mean, who having gone into thin air in Bombay, reassemble the parts and appear two minutes later in Calcutta Only some such theory will account for the fact that he s not there one moment and is there the next He just seems to float from Spot A to Spot B like some form of gas or,I dismissed Jeeves with a nod, and he flickered for a moment and was gone Many a spectre would have been less slippy I am sure the author will come with a fresh twist on the old jokes for his next novel, and this is one of the reasons I am glad that he was so productive and that I have so many of his novels to enjoy in the future.
Recommended as the best remedy for a sour disposition If you haven t yet read one of Wodehouse farces, this is a good introduction to his style.
Beginning with a critique of my own limbs, which she said, justly enough, were nothing to write home about, this girl went on to dissect my manners, morals, intellect, general physique, and method of eating asparagus with such acerbity that by the time she had finished the best you could say of Bertram was that, so far as was known, he had never actually committed murder or set fire to an orphan asylum Half of the book is quotable and funny Another half is not quotable, but still funny More on this later.
Bertram Bertie Wooster spent a nice vacation considering he was not working anywhere I am not sure if this trip could be called such in Cannes Upon coming back he had a misfortune of stumbling straight into the following mess one engaged couple breaking up, one couple being in love with each other, but due to their hmm peculiarities yes, this is the best word unable to confess their feelingsI have no doubt that you could have flung bricks by the hour in England s most densely populated districts without endangering the safety of a single girl capable of becoming Mrs Augustus Fink Nottle without an anaesthetic Add to this inability of his aunt Dahlia s on her later to get money from her husband for her magazine to replace her gambling loss, having to make a speech for Market Snodsbury Grammar School prize giving, resignation of Aunt Dahlia s genius chief Anatole and you will start getting an idea of the insurmountable difficulties poor Bertie was facing Like a true fighter he rushed headlong into all problems trying to untangle them It was easy to guess the outcome of his efforts, but you can trust Wodehouse to come up with the most hilarious ones all the time In other words, the Bertie was trying the worse the mess become.
I read some of the books of the series before and they never failed to amuse me This time something clicked or I started reading in the right mood, or this is really the funniest book of the series and I laughted out loud non stop, people around looking at me the weird way be damnedJeeves, I m engaged I hope you will be very happy, sir Don t be an ass I m engaged to Miss Bassett At this point I came to what I think is the highlight of the book Let me start with a personal example I had two good aunts I was content Only after reading this novel I realized my life was seriously lacking I need the third aunt Not just anybody, but Aunt Dahlia I wonder if she can adopt me He initial exchange of telegrams with Bertie was the first scene that thawed the ice so to say and made me laugh Her first personal appearance was nothing short of brilliantAm taking legal advice to ascertain whether strangling an idiot nephew counts as murder If it doesn t look out for yourself You can see she cares deeply about her nephew Still not convincedIt isn t often that Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them Any other named character was great, colorful and funny, but Aunt Dahlia out shined them all The story was ridiculous, funny, and full of twists The humor started at page 14 I double checked and never stopped until next to last page Yes, this is me readingI said, Don t talk rot, Old Tom Travers I am not accustomed to talk rot, he said Then, for a beginner, I said, you do it dashed well So regarding the rating this time it was very easy Any book that makes me laugh aloud and uncontrollably is worth 5 stars End of story One word of caution reading it convinced me my vocabulary was mediocre as I kept encountered lesser known words at least once per pageBertie, do you read Tennyson Not if I can help P.
S Sorry, I could not resist inserting one quote I promise, it is the last oneYes, Jeeves The man had materialized on the carpet Absolutely noiseless, as usual A note for you, sir A note for me, Jeeves A note for you, sir From whom, Jeeves From Miss Bassett, sir From whom, Jeeves From Miss Bassett, sir From Miss Bassett, Jeeves From Miss Bassett, sir At this point, Aunt Dahlia begged us for heaven s sake to cut out the cross talk vaudeville stuff Always willing to oblige, I dismissed Jeeves with a nod, and he flickered for a moment and was gone P.
S For people living in countries where the government has not gone wild with copyright laws, the book is available from Project Gutenberg Sorry, my German friends.